Ohio Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – December 17, 2021

Division of Wildlife

Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1 

Last winter, state wildlife officers Tyler Eldred and Chad Grote, assigned to Morrow and Marion counties respectively, received several contacts from the public regarding a coyote hunt. One caller noticed illegal activity on social media. An investigation revealed that three individuals had pursued and killed a coyote with the aid of snowmobiles in a field. Several violations were discovered, including hunting with the aid or use of a motor vehicle, taking a wild quadruped with anything other than a gun or archery equipment, taking a wild animal only at the time and place and in a manner prescribed by Ohio Division of Wildlife regulations, hunting without a valid hunting license, and hunting without written permission from a landowner. The individuals were found guilty in Morrow County Municipal Court and paid more than $750 in fines and court costs. If you notice illegal wildlife related activity online, call 1-800-POACHER (1-800-762-2437).

In October, state wildlife officer John Coffman, assigned to Fayette County, attended an event at Shaw Wetland, sponsored by Carnegie Public Library. Attendees were invited to explore the area and environmental interactive displays. Officer Coffman educated the public about mammals native to wetlands such as mink, muskrats, and beaver. Everyone in attendance was grateful to learn about Ohio’s wild animals from a wildlife professional.

Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2

At the end of October, state wildlife officer Matt Smith, assigned to Henry County, attended the Henry County Pheasants Forever’s youth hunt at the Maumee Valley Sportsmen’s Club. Youth from several counties were in attendance for the event. Each participant received a box of shells, trap shooting practice, and could harvest up to two pheasants. Local volunteers provided their dogs to aid in the hunt and Pheasants Forever supplied the birds. Every participant was able to harvest at least one bird, and two lucky youths received gift certificates for $650 to be put toward the purchase of a new hunting gun. The gift certificates were provided by Pheasants Forever, the volunteers, and generous parents. Officer Smith was happy to be part of such a successful day teaching new people how to safely hunt pheasants.

In September, state wildlife officer Michele Butler, assigned to Erie County, received a call from a citizen regarding a fisherman who was keeping undersized largemouth bass in downtown Sandusky. The caller provided a description of the fisherman and where he was storing the fish in his vehicle. Thanks to the caller’s detailed information, officer Butler located the fisherman at a nearby boat ramp. A brief investigation revealed he had two fish in his trunk. After inspecting the fish, officer Butler discovered that the nonresident was in possession of two undersized black bass, did not possess a valid fishing license, and had an active felony warrant. A summons was issued to the fisherman for possessing undersized bass and he was taken to jail for the active warrant.

Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3

State wildlife officers Aaron Brown and Zach Hillman, assigned to Wayne and Cuyahoga counties respectively, were on patrol in Wayne County when they observed multiple individuals bowfishing. The officers observed each member of the group shoot at fish. The individuals were contacted. Two of the three individuals did not possess a valid fishing license. They were each issued a misdemeanor summons. The pair paid $154.50 in fines and court costs.

State wildlife officer Jason Warren, assigned to Ashtabula County, received a call from the Ashtabula County Sherriff’s Office about a hunting without permission complaint involving hunters pursuing coyotes with hounds. With suspect information from a responding deputy, officer Warren followed up with the trespassers, who each received a summons into Ashtabula Western County Court for hunting without permission. Each pleaded guilty and paid $195 in fines and court costs.

Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4

During the 2020-21 season, river otter trapping hit new levels of success. Wildlife officers in busy counties spend a good amount of time checking and issuing the required Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) tags. Anyone who traps a river otter needs to get a CITES tag for his or her harvest to prove that it was legally acquired during Ohio’s limited trapping season for the furbearer. Washington County was one of the first counties to reintroduce river otters into Ohio, and the population continues to thrive today. State wildlife officer Ryan Donnelly, assigned to neighboring Athens County, provided several CITES tags in Washington County. Seeing the success and reward for the hard work trappers put in to harvest the elusive furbearer is enjoyable during the cold winter months. River otter season opens on Dec. 26 and closes on Feb. 28, 2022. A season bag limit map can be found on Page 30 of the 2021-22 hunting and trapping regulations.

Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5

During a special spotlighting enforcement detail, state wildlife officer Gus Kiebel was notified of a truck spotlighting for white-tailed deer in Adams County. Officer Kiebel stopped the vehicle that was observed spotlighting. During the stop, a spotlight and a loaded rifle were located. Two subjects paid $285 in fines each in Adams County court. The rifle and spotlight were forfeited to the Ohio Division of Wildlife.

While heading home one night, state wildlife officer Gus Kiebel, assigned to Adams County, found two beagles in the road. Afraid they would get hit by a vehicle, officer Kiebel and another driver caught the dogs and put them in his patrol truck to get warm. Unable to reach an owner, officer Kiebel took the dogs home to give them some food and keep them warm for the night. The next morning, officer Kiebel discovered the female was pregnant and judging by their condition, it was believed the dogs were abandoned by their owner. Officer Kiebel and his wife made arrangements with a nonprofit shelter to take the dogs. The female was immediately inspected by a veterinarian to determine the health of the puppies for medical care. The man was airlifted to a hospital where he underwent several medical procedures. According to the hunter’s family, doctors are optimistic that the hunter will make a good recovery. The hunter and family were appreciative.

Categories: Ohio Events

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